Covid-19 virus evolving to get better at becoming airborne, new study warns

The new study led by the University of Maryland School of Public health has shown people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 exhale the virus in their breath – and those infected with the Alpha variant (the dominant strain circulating at the time the study was conducted) put 43 to 100 times more virus into the air than people infected with the original strains of the virus.

The researchers also found loose-fitting cloth and surgical masks reduced the amount of virus that gets into the air around infected people by about half.

“Our latest study provides further evidence of the importance of airborne transmission,” said Doctor Don Milton, professor of environmental health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Subscribe to our Telegram News Service
Download our mobile app

“We know that the Delta variant circulating now is even more contagious than the Alpha variant.

“Our research indicates that the variants just keep getting better at travelling through the air, so we must provide better ventilation and wear tight-fitting masks, in addition to vaccination, to help stop spread of the virus.”

© GETTY Covid-19 virus evolving to get better at becoming airborne, new study warns

The amount of virus in the air coming from Alpha variant infections was much more (18 times more) than could be explained by the increased amounts of virus in nasal swabs and saliva.

One of the lead authors, doctoral student Jianyu Lai, explained: “We already knew that virus in saliva and nasal swabs was increased in Alpha variant infections. Viruses from the nose and mouth might be transmitted by sprays of large droplets up close to an infected person.

“But, our study shows that the virus in exhaled aerosols is increasing even more.”

These major increases in airborne virus from Alpha infections occurred before the Delta variant arrived, but indicates the virus is evolving to be better at travelling through the air.

To test whether face masks work in blocking the virus from being transmitted among people, the study measured how much SARS-CoV-2 is breathed into the air and tested how much less virus people sick with COVID-19 exhaled into the air after putting on a cloth or surgical mask.

Face coverings significantly reduced virus-laden particles in the air around the person with COVID-19, cutting the amount by around 50 percent.

But the loose-fitting cloth and surgical masks didn’t stop infectious virus from getting into the air.

Dr. Jennifer German, a co-author said: “The take-home messages from this paper are that the coronavirus can be in your exhaled breath, is getting better at being in your exhaled breath, and using a mask reduces the chance of you breathing it on others.”

© GETTY Covid-19 virus evolving to get better at becoming airborne, new study warns

This finding means a layered approach to control measures (including improved ventilation, increased filtration, UV air sanitation, and tight-fitting masks, in addition to vaccination) is critical to protect people in public-facing jobs and indoor spaces.

The study, Infectious SARS-CoV-2 in Exhaled Aerosols and Efficacy of Masks During Early Mild Infection, was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Findings were conducted by researchers from the University of Maryland School of Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Duke-NUS Medical School, and Rice University.

Recently published data found people are twice as likely to need hospital care if they are sick with the Delta Covid variant, rather than the Alpha variant.

© EXPRESS.CO.UK Covid-19 virus evolving to get better at becoming airborne, new study warns

The data, published in The Lancet, reinforced why it is important people get fully jabbed.

Vaccination has been found to cut the risk of serious illness from all the Covid variants.

The Delta variant accounts for almost all cases in the UK currently.

The data was put together by Public Health England and the Medical Research Council.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Dodgers starting reliever Corey Knebel for Game 1 of NLCS vs. Braves

The Dodgers confirmed that right-handed reliever Corey Knebel will make his second consecutive postseason start.  Los Angeles made the announcement that Knebel will start against the Braves for Game 1 of the ... Read more »

Cardinals place Rodney Hudson on injured reserve

© Provided by NBC Sports Cardinals center Rodney Hudson won’t be on the field in Cleveland on Sunday and he’ll miss at least two more games as well. The Cardinals ... Read more »

High school notebook: Marymount looks unbeatable in girls' volleyball

© (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times) Elia Rubin has led Marymount to a No. 1 seeding for the Division 1 playoffs. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times) ... Read more »

Singhu border lynching victim cremated amid tight security

© Provided by Hindustan Times The farmers protest has been on at the Singhu border and at the other locations for months; on Sunday, even the last rites of a ... Read more »

Air in UP cities turns very poor with AQI spiking in 24 hours

© Provided by Hindustan Times The air quality falling signals towards setting winters where the environment gets dense limiting pollutants to disperse. (HT File Photo) Air pollution spiked across Uttar Pradesh ... Read more »

India, US launch exercise to undertake joint operations in mountainous terrain

© Provided by The Statesman India, US launch exercise to undertake joint operations in mountainous terrain India and the United States have launched a mega military training exercise, “EX YUDH ... Read more »

Will make Punjab power surplus again: Sukhbir at poll events in Ludhiana

© Provided by Hindustan Times Punjab power surplus was also a key platform for Sukhbir in the previous regime; now he claims the state has failed to keep pace with ... Read more »

Virginia Governor's Race Ad Says Trump 'Scared' to Campaign There, Mocks His 'Loser Stench'

A new ad about the Virginia governor’s race mocks former President Donald Trump for not traveling to the state to campaign on behalf of Republican contender Glenn Youngkin. © Win ... Read more »

If you're tired of high gas prices, here's how to rent an electric (or hybrid) car

© Provided by The Points Guy MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from ... Read more »

Commons Speaker: We must end the hatred aimed at our MPs

Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has demanded “an end to hatred” against MPs and a kinder form of political discourse following ... Read more »

David Amess: Police given six more days to question murder suspect

(Independent) Police have been given six more days to question the man suspected of murdering Sir David Amess in a terrorist attack. The 25-year-old man is being detained for questioning ... Read more »

Pump prices for petrol and diesel are near a record high

(PA) Motorists are paying almost record-high prices for petrol, according to new data. The average price for a litre of petrol is 140.22p on average. This is less than 2p ... Read more »

‘Badly decomposed body' found in derelict east London pub

A ‘badly decomposed’ body has been found in a derelict pub in east London. © PA Archive Police say a man has died after a suspected gas explosion The corpse ... Read more »

Right to Care vaccination team on a mission to get to far-flung places in the Eastern Cape

If getting the population vaccinated is a bit like climbing a metaphorical mountain, Alfred Ncube and his team play their part by literally wending their way up remote, rough rural ... Read more »

Still no Sahpra report on adjustments made to ivermectin use after leave to appeal

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has not yet reported to the Pretoria High Court on adjustments on the use of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19 after ... Read more »

Jack Grealish could be quizzed as rape case witness after going clubbing with Benjamin Mendy hours before ‘attack'

MAN City ace Jack Grealish partied with a team-mate who is alleged to have raped a girl just hours later. The £100million star and fellow ace Riyad Mahrez were at ... Read more »

Sir David Amess latest news – Man arrested on suspicion of murdering Tory MP named as Boris Johnson leads tributes

CONSERVATIVE MP Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times at a church in Essex. A man is understood to have walked into Belfairs Methodist Church and knifed ... Read more »

Sir David Amess put duty over danger to serve his constituents

I CONFESS to shedding a few tears when I heard of the brutal death of David Amess, as I thought of his family which I know he loved so much. ... Read more »

Savannah Marshall stops Lolita Muzeya in second round of sensational back-and-forth brawl to retain WBO middleweight title

Savannah Marshall retains WBO middleweight championship after brilliant two-round shoot-out with Lolita Muzeya; the dream fight with Claressa Shields edges closer Read more »

Ghislaine Maxwell's brother talks family in groundbreaking interview

“This is a family that sticks together,” Ghislaine Maxwell’s older brother, Ian, said in a new interview with the Telegraph. ABC News A member of the infamous Maxwell clan says ... Read more »

Beyoncé Stuns In Venice With Jay-Z At Tiffany Exec's Wedding

Beyoncé just brought the bombshell factor to a very high society wedding. © Cobra Team / BACKGRID Cobra Team / BACKGRID The Lemonade hitmaker, 40, was joined by husband Jay-Z, ... Read more »

YB vermiest Luzern in extremis den ersten Saisonsieg – FCZ schlägt Lugano dank Ceesay

© THOMAS HODEL/keystone-sda.ch YB’s Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu, Mitte, feiert sein Tor im Fussball Meisterschaftsspiel der Super League zwischen den Berner Young Boys und dem FC Luzern, am Samstag, 16. Oktober ... Read more »

Happy Birthday Simi Garewal: 5 best moments from her iconic chat show ‘Rendezvous with Simi Garewal'

© Provided by Pinkvilla Veteran actor and talk show host Simi Garewal turned a year older on Sunday, October 17. The 72-year old still manages to rule several hearts with ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15, Weekend Ka Vaar, Twitter Reactions: 'No one can host better than SALMAN KHAN' Fans praise the superstar for handling situations well in the house

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com This week of Bigg Boss 15 has witnessed many moments filled with drama where contestants have tried to demonstrate their power in the ‘BIGG BOSS’ jungle. ... Read more »

PHOTOS: Madhuri Dixit breaks denim on denim monotone with white tee, aces casual look in style

Time and again, Bollywood celebs have flaunted their glamorous designer-filled wardrobe. From sarees to glamorous gowns, we have seen it all and been floored. But what attracts us more is ... Read more »

The Kapil Sharma Show, 16th October 2021, Written Update: Gales of laughter with Taapsee Pannu

© Provided by Pinkvilla Kapil Sharma kicks off the show with Dussehra’s wishes. He then invites the talented star Taapsee Pannu. Kapil Sharma wishes good luck to her for the ... Read more »

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2021 Ep 1 Review: Shankar Mahadevan, Vishal Dadlani and Himesh's chemistry makes it a fun watch

© Provided by Pinkvilla The latest season of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa premiered today on ZEE TV, with Shankar Mahadevan, Vishal Dadlani and Himesh Reshammiya at the helm. While ... Read more »

Sunil Chhetri equals Lionel Messi as India win a record eighth SAFF Championship trophy

© Provided by WION Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri equalled the Lionel Messi with his 80th international strike against Nepal in the final clash of SAFF Championship on Saturday (October ... Read more »

Kansas City police investigating homicide near 4500 block of Chestnut Avenue

One person was killed in a homicide reported Saturday afternoon in Kansas City. Police responded to the 4500 block of Chestnut Avenue, Capt. Leslie Foreman, a spokeswoman with the Kansas ... Read more »

Is your password Superman or Batman? Here's why you should change it

Heads up, if you’re currently using a superhero as a source of inspiration for your passwords you might want to change it to something more secure. A report published by ... Read more »

Killer Tycoon Robert Durst Is on Ventilator With COVID, Lawyer Says

Real-estate heir Robert Durst, who was just sentenced to life in prison for murdering his close friend, has contracted COVID-19 and is on a ventilator, according to his attorney. © ... Read more »

Real life Squid Games? Korean culture takes center stage at non-lethal events.

Real-life versions Netflix’s hit show Squid Game have been promised by a social media star and a Korean hotel — without the mass deaths the show is infamous for. But for ... Read more »

Maduro ally extradited to US on money laundering charges

FILE – In this Thursday, Sept 9, 2021, file photo, pedestrians walk near a poster asking for the freedom of Colombian businessman and Venezuelan special envoy Alex Saab, in Caracas, ... Read more »

Strictly Come Dancing dropout Robert Webb lashes out and brands show ‘brutal and weird'

STRICTLY Come Dancing dropout Robert Webb has kicked out at the show as brutal and weird. The comedy favourite said he got fed up with having cameras around all the ... Read more »

Strictly Come Dancing shock as Adam Peaty ‘tries to kiss' dance partner Katya Jones as fans fear curse has struck again

STRICTLY fans were shocked tonight as Adam Peaty appeared to “try to kiss” his dance partner Katya Jones. An awkward blunder on live telly showed dad-of-one Adam “lean in” for ... Read more »

Sir David Amess found a connection with everyone, no matter their background

SIR David Amess was a regular in our office. Not because, like many MPs, he wanted to secure a debate or ask for something, but because he genuinely liked a ... Read more »

Sir David Amess' killer was on terror alert list and had extremist material on phone

THE killer of MP Sir David Amess was previously referred to a ­Government anti-terror scheme. Cops discovered Islamist material on his phone after the stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Witnesses said ... Read more »

Woman faces fearmongering probe over anti-vaccine message

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Police said they are investigating two suspects who are believed to be anti-vaxxers. PETALING JAYA: A woman who claimed that two teenagers in Perak ... Read more »

Boris Johnson's social care plans could lead to 10% rise on Council Tax

In order to pay for his expansive social reforms, Age UK is reporting that Boris Johnson will need to hike Council Tax Payment for families around the country. As a ... Read more »

Every word Ian Evatt and Leam Richardson said on Bolton Wanderers v Wigan Athletic crowd trouble

Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt expects his side to be hit with sanctions after crowd trouble marred today’s derby loss against Wigan Athletic. Wanderers lost 4-0 at the University of ... Read more »